Trump has done a fantastic job of targeting as many single or simple issue voters and pulling in a huge base of support. The three contributors that set Trump apart are timing, technology, and a willingness to disregard accuracy or ethics.
The United States is at two major policy crossroads that it has enjoyed a long period of propaganda driven denial on. Both have massive impacts on employment. Both democrats are on the “wrong” side of. The political power of the health-care and fossil fuels industries are substantial and are strongly aligned with the status quo.
Boomers, in their 60s and 70s, seemed to have regained their senses in 2020 to some degree however in 2016 there was no doubt the late life fear of the world passing them by that made the status quo (at least socially) extra appealing. You can see this in how well lgbt and bathroom issues play for Republicans.
Evangelicals are in a similar situation as boomers in wanting to stay relevant but they are also completely waylaid by abortion propaganda. This single issue dwarfs typical policy issues, by design, and creates prioritization that enables minimalization of any conflicting information.
Complacency – The entirety of Americans of voting age today have grown up in a time of great prosperity or at worst, temporary recession where the safety nets held. Until recently there has been no concern of national stability as if it were granted by divine right. That divine right, or american exceptionalism, or whatever you want to call it, affords a complacency has enabled our stability to be under attack for little reason.
- The proliferation of money, social media, and marketing in political races has transformed them from policy based discussions to viral marketing schemes. Short attention spans, shock value, instant gratification all come far ahead of substantive policy debate in the new landscape.
- The technological ignorance, particularly among evangelicals and boomers, when it comes to technology has amplified the effectiveness of the viral marketing.
- State actors being able to not only get involved but steer domestic policy disputes is a new threat and would be a substantial issue in itself. It is further unfortunate, but not surprising, that along with this new threat it has enabled a wave of politicians that are abusing it and so won’t condemn it or act against it.
To be continued